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Words Matter: Cheers to the FBI for Recognizing How Much

(This post contains candid discussion of rape and sexual violence.)

As some of you may know, I experienced two different sexual assaults when I wasn't yet in my teens within just one year of one another. The second time I was assaulted, my experience ticked all of the boxes there currently are in our culture for what is so often -- now, anyway, easily considered a "real" or "bonafide" sexual assault, or what Whoopi Goldberg, to my great disappointment, would call "rape-rape."

I was a girl, and one with body parts universally recognized as "girl parts." My attackers were guys. Even worse when it comes to the rape cliché all too often (misre)presented as universal truth, I was a white girl raped by guys of color. I did not know any of the perpetrators: they were all strangers. It was violent. It was forceful. I said no, I yelled, I tried to run, and I fought, but I lost. I was conscious until I was knocked unconscious. I hadn't been drinking or doing recreational drugs, nor had I ever

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My boyfriend wants naked pictures of me: should I do it?

MelissaDV asks:

Me and my boyfriend have been together for 9 months. I'm 17 and he's 22. Everything is going great! We never really fight and my family likes him, too, which is rare. Only problem is he travels a lot for work, he will be gone for 2 weeks at at time. I don't mind, but he asked me to help make his trip better...he wanted me to take nude pictures of myself. I said I would but only because I do love and care about him a lot and thought it would be good for the both of us. But I HATE pictures as it is...I tried to take them for him but I HATE every picture I take and it makes me feel even more self-conscious than I do already. I would rather walk around naked for him all day then take pictures of myself. I know it sounds stupid, but it's just really hard for me. I trust him and know he wouldn't do anything with those pictures but it's hard explaining to him why I don't like pictures, he doesn't get it...should I just suck it up and take em?

The age of consent... for what, exactly?

tortot555 asks:

I want to know what the government considers sex. When they say age of consent what kind of sex are they talking about?

The Cutting Room Floor: On Sexting

With everyone talking about it so much lately, thought I'd reprise the topic with some questions Tracy Clark-Flory of Salon.com asked me about sexting a few months ago, and the whole of my answers. To see her finished piece, you can meander over here.

Q: Where does "sexting" -- or for that matter, taking nude self- portraits or videos that they may or may not share with a significant other, friends or a crush -- fall within teenage sexual development?

I'd lump television in with the 'net and other new media when I say that with the media presence being what it has become, the need or desire to seen -- already a typical part of young adult development as well as human existence -- has become huge. And that's not just about sex, but because sexual development and exploration is also a big part of being a teen, as well as a part of life, period, and something that's still treated as provocative, particularly when in any way public, sex enters into this.

You're asking about teens using t

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Age of Consent Clarification

kwmal93 asks:

Hi, my boyfriend and I both live in Florida and have been dating for a little over 7 months now. We are sexually active. I'm 16 and he's 20, can he get in trouble for being with me ?

She's Under 18: How Can She Get an Abortion?

Anonymous asks:

My girlfriend is 17, and I am 19. We had unprotected sex a few days after she finished her period. I know its foolish to not use protection, however we both decided we didn't want anything in between us. I made certain that I didn't ejaculate inside her. She might be pregnant, but right now I'm really just looking at all the options. The state we live in, Virginia, requires one parent to be notified of a decision to get an abortion. However, in Washington D.C. there are no rules saying a minor has to contact or notify her parents or anything. I've read that it is illegal to transport or drive the minor across state lines to get an abortion. Is that true? If yes, could she drive the car and I be a passenger? Or follow her in my car? If she is pregnant, I know she wouldn't want to get her abortion alone... so what is the current laws on this? I have the money to pay for it!

The Age of Consent Chart @ AVERT

Need to know what the age of sexual consent is in your area?

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence.

American Civil Liberties Union: GLBT

Combatting civil rights and liberties attacks on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and groups.

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